DAMASCUS, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. latest move to ease the sanctions imposed on Syria to support earthquake relief efforts is "misleading and aims to give a false humanitarian impression," the Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
On Thursday, the U.S. Treasury Department issued a so-called six-month sanctions exemption for Syria-bound humanitarian aid, saying the U.S. sanctions in Syria "will not stand in the way" of live-saving efforts.
The Syrian ministry responded in the statement that the U.S. decision "stipulates alleged exemptions for humanitarian purposes, and the facts on the ground proved its falsehood."
The U.S. coercive measures and U.S. policies have deprived the Syrian people of their natural wealth, it added, urging the United States to end immediately, without hesitation, conditions or exceptions, the sanctions and to stop its cruel practices and violations of international law and the principles and purposes of the UN Charter.
The Syrian government has repeatedly said that the sanctions were unjust and targeted the livelihoods and the well-being of the Syrian people, particularly after the earthquake that hit the country on Monday.
According to figures released by the Syrian Health Ministry on Friday, Syria's death toll from the Monday earthquakes rose to 1,387 and the injuries to 2,326.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said that the earthquake in Syrian government and rebel-held areas had killed 4,500 people. ■